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Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Centre will soon come out with a new cooperative policy and work in tandem with states to strengthen the cooperative movement.

Shah, who is also the Union Home Minister, also announced that the number of primary agriculture cooperatives (PACs) will be increased to 3 lakh in the next five years. At present, there are about 65,000 PACs.

He was speaking at the first Sehkarita Sammelan or National Cooperative Conference here. The Ministry of Cooperation was formed in July this year.

Addressing the gathering comprising over 2,100 representatives of different cooperatives and nearly 6 crore online participants, Shah said some people wonder why the Centre created this new ministry as the cooperatives are a state subject.

Shah said there could be a legal response to it, but he does not want to "get into this argument".

The Centre, he stressed, will cooperate with states and "there will be no friction".

"We will work with all states to take forward the cooperative movement," he said, and added the Ministry of Cooperation has been formed to strengthen and modernise the sector.

On the proposed new cooperative policy, Shah said a policy was brought in 2002 by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and now the Modi government will start working on a new policy.

Stressing that the cooperative movement was more relevant today than ever, Shah said cooperatives can contribute a lot in the development of the country.

According to him, the cooperatives will play a crucial part in making India a USD 5 trillion economy.

Referring to the problems being faced by cooperatives on taxation front and other issues, Shah said he was aware of the concerns and assured that there would be no injustice towards them.
 

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